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Making a Rifled Barrel without Machine Tools (TIS081)


Making a Rifled Barrel without Machine Tools (TIS081)

The Idahoan demonstrates a do-it-yourself version of the button rifling process for making a rifled pistol barrel with minimal tooling.

DISCLAIMER: If you attempt anything shown in this video, you do so strictly at your own risk. No guarantee is made of the safety or suitability of barrels made by this process for any particular applicaiton.

Rifle barrel made from rebar

YouTuber xynudu recently made a screwdriver from large rebar and suggested it might be cool to see a gun barrel made from rebar. I can't resist an idea like that!

UPDATE: Added Grip and Extractor in part 2:

Shooting it in part 3:

Make a heavy duty screw driver out of Rebar

The barrel is made from ~1 rebar about 18 inches long that I got at the local scrap yard. First I center-drilled the end and went about 3 in with a standard-length 5/16 drill bit. Then I deep-drilled it about 10 using a Dewalt branded installer bit from the local home center. I expected this bit to burn out pretty quickly through so much solid steel but it actually performed very well and is still sharp. Good for Dewalt for choosing a high quality OEM.
After the bar was drilled through, I ground off a few of the ribs and milled a nice flat. A chunk of steel was then measured and cut to fit into the hinge of the gun. These two parts were TIG welded together and the barrel liner was chambered and epoxied in place. It was then tested with a 22 short with bullet pulled. I chose 22 short because I had a box of ammo and no other 22 short gun to shoot it in. I didn't want to fire a live round because I live in the 'burbs and can't get to the range very often. Also last time I fired a live 22lr in my garage the 2 thick wood backstop broke through and the bullet put a hole in my giant fresnel lens and dented my water heater.
Bad choices yield Bad results

Really enjoyed building this in two evenings. Thanks xynudu (Rob) for the idea.

Homemade barrel rifling machine, rifling the Kolt380 barrel


Build log..

Home Shop Rifling!

Homemade rifling? Yes it's possible! Once you get a nice hole drilled into a piece of steel, the rifling part is stupidly easy. Watch this video and learn how to drill and ream the hole, AND do the stupidly easy rifling part!

Homemade barrel rifling machine

My simple, crude tool to cut rifle grooves in blank barrels.

Making a Rifling Twist Template (VR004)

At the request of viewers, I am uploading a more detailed discussion of how I made the paper template that I used to grind my rifling button in episode TIS081, Making a Rifled Barrel without Machine Tools.

Home Shop Rifling - Part 2

I recorded and edited the majority of this video 14 months ago, but rifling buttons in the marketplace have gone through a huge change. So some of the information is outdated but there is good stuff in there as well so I decided to share.

Homemade Rifle (NO WELDING) just basic hand tools.

So I had a viewer ask if it was possible to build a gun without using a welder. In this video just basic hand tools are used for this gun, and I was surprised how it turned out. thanks for watching. if you would like to support my channel and the work I do here is the link to my Patreon page.

Machining a Rifled Barrel (TIS147)

In this episode, the Idahoan machines and tests a rifled pistol barrel chambered for .45 ACP out of type 1144 stress-proof bar stock.

rifling barrel


Rifling THREE(ish)...China vs. Ukraine Rifling Buttons!

My third rifling video. Gun barrel rifling has gone from mystery to mainstream, and the interest has never been greater! Some good information here on rifling with the Ebay-available rifling buttons from China and Ukraine.

Accuracy Testing DIY Rifled Barrel (TIS104)

The Idahoan tests the accuracy of the 40 S&W barrel that he made in previous video Making a Rifled Barrel without Machine Tools, and compares it to an entry-level commercial handgun.

How hammerforged barrels and riflings are made

Please support us at:
I had a chance to visit the Sabatti factory in Gardone, Italy. This company is one of the very few who manufacture barrels with cold forging method. This method is capable for manufacturing extremely durable barrels with very accurate dimensions. The technology was invented in Germany/Austria just before WW2, but it is still one of the best methods for making an accurate rifling and bore. Enjoy the trip!

9mm Barrel from Plumbing Pipe (TIS138)

The Idahoan conducts an experiment to see if common plumbing pipe is strong enough for construction of a 9mm handgun barrel.

Finishing the Rifled Barrel (TIS097)

In this follow-up to Rifling with the Norris Chuck, the Idahoan completes and test-fires the .50-caliber muzzleloader pistol barrel that he rifled in the previous episode.

The Making of a Spiral Welded Damascus Gun Barrel

The process of forging a spiral welded damascus gun barrel.
By: Master Bladesmith, Steve Culver of Meriden, Kansas
September, 2012

Making the Mainspring Barrel

A detailed look at making the mainspring barrel for WR Smith's Grasshopper clock.

Why Is There No Rifling In My Barrel?

If you ever get a gun and are wondering, “Why is there no rifling in my barrel?” Then you have, hopefully, found the right video to help ease your mind. This video’s primary focus is discussing a method of rifling that is most often seen in pistols, but is still somewhat uncommon called polygonal rifling. The reason I wanted to make a video explaining the presence of polygonal rifling and how it can be deceiving is because I just recently found myself asking why is there no rifling in my barrel and assuming that I was sold a firearm which had the barrel shot out of it. Let’s just start by saying, there is still a chance that your barrel has been shot out and don’t just assume that because you have no rifling in your barrel that it must have been manufactured with polygonal rifling. Look up manufacturer specifications for the gun you have and be sure that you aren’t being sold a turd.

Alrighty, so we addressed the reasoning as to you asking why is there no rifling in my barrel and can move past the existence of traditional rifling vs. polygonal rifling in your gun and look at the practical differences between polygonal and traditional rifling. You might not care about this part and instead just be excited to know your gun doesn’t suck, but I need to put something in the description to assist in searches. From birth, polygonal rifling and traditional rifling are two different beasts. It’s sort of like a “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline,” thing. See, polygonal barrels are forged with the inner walls of the barrel to match a desired twist rate, meaning that there are no sharp cuts or grooves to form the rifling. Traditionally rifled barrels on the other hand are forged with a perfectly cylindrical, smooth walled inner barrel surface that is then cut or broached with the desired twist rate pattern. Now, you can still find yourself asking “why is there no rifling in my barrel,” if you purchase a firearm with traditional rifling and it has been shot thousands of time and rapid fired, especially with older military surplus firearms.

The practical benefits of polygonal rifling is a smoother bore surface to allow for easier cleaning and less areas for fowling to get stuck. Because there are no grooves cut into the bore to form the pistol rifling, there are no tight, hard to reach areas for powder, copper, lead, or other fouling to get lodged over time. A quick brush and swab down the barrel will hit the entire surface of the bore at once. The problem that this causes is that you can’t constantly fire unjacketed ammunition with a polygonal rifled barrel because of the lack of grooves. The grooves allow space for the bullet to expand and keep from too much lead building up inside of the barrel. Copper jackets won’t give you this problem since the jacket doesn’t lose as much material in the barrel. Other than this, polygonal rifling serves to increase velocity slightly because of a tighter fit to the bullet and less drag as it travels down the barrel. Now, if you do ask yourself “Why is there no rifling in my barrel,” on a traditionally rifled barrel then you will find that just because the bore is smooth, doesn’t mean that it has just been converted to polygonal rifling. Without proper grooves cut into the bore of a traditionally rifled barrel, there will be inadequate rotation applied to the projectile, causing destabilization and inaccuracy. A sign of a shot out barrel could be key-holing when shooting at paper, which indicates that the projectile isn’t stable after exiting the barrel and is tumbling, thus hitting the paper sideways instead of with the tip. Though this could also be a sign of using an improper grain bullet for the twist rate of your firearm.

This video is very simple and quick and only serves to inform a small amount of people, like myself, who might not have understood that you can have a smooth bore barrel or at least be asking yourself, “Why is there no rifling in my barrel,” and still not have a gun that has had the rifling shot out of it. Polygonal rifling is a thing!

If you have any questions about polygonal rifling, traditional rifling, guns in general, my life story, my constant state of contempt, anything at all, just let me know and I will try and get back to you. Hopefully this video helped you.

Rifle barrel made from rebar - PART 2. Grip and Shell extractor

Adding a walnut grip and a shell extractor to the rebar 22 barrel.

Back in August I made a rifle barrel out of rebar to go with Xynudu's rebar screwdriver. The barrel worked well but there were three main groups of comments I wanted to address. Those were:
1. Add a shell extractor (12:40)
2. Add a grip (00:26)
3. SHOOT IT! (Next Video)

In this video I build the foregrip and the shell extractor. The third item is covered in the next video. The grip is made from a scrap of walnut and finished with Tru-Oil. The extractor is made from a bar of 1095 high carbon steel. Not seen in this video, I've also extended the chamber to 22lr.

Xynudu's rebar screwdriver:

Original barrel build video (Pt 1):

Shooting it (Pt 3):

HOW IT'S MADE: Remington Rifles

The production process is explained showing factory workers fabricating, stocks, barrels and parts with custom finishing.



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